2013 September Seedstock EDGE - page 10

Mike Paul •
CEO, National Swine Registry
NSR Editorial
Open Mike
An event for the books
Forty years ago, a record-setting event
in Austin, Minn., set the standard for
national shows and sales. It was the fall
of 1973. e state fair run was over, but
interest in purebred genetics was at an all-
time high, and people were ready to bring
their best to the ‘World Series of Swine
Shows,’ the National Barrow Show®.
On that Monday morning in ’73, the
fairgrounds were overrun with the partici-
pants of the NBS® judging contest. Purdue’s
team coached by Dr. Roger Hunsley, won
the College Division, and John Phillips –
Mr. Barrow Show, to many of us – served as
the show superintendent, for the third year.
Tuesday morning kicked o the
Hampshire show. Al Christian, Ames,
Iowa, was evaluating the entries as Bernard
Roll of Iowa Falls, Iowa, drove his son of
Bare Baron 12-4 to the winner’s circle,
and Walsh Farms of Beloit, Wis., captured
Reserve honors with a son of Renown.
Hamp-An Farms, Middletown, Mo., had
the Champion Gilt with a daughter of
Oh, and Dean Myhre, Caledonia, Minn.,
drove his Butkus daughter to Reserve.
e Duroc show was evaluated by R.N.
Perry of Bethel, Mo. Fellow Missourian
Everett Forkner exhibited a son of CC
Tomorrow that won Grand Champion
Duroc Boar. Alan Butts of Evansville,
Wis., exhibited the Reserve Champion
Boar; his entry was a son of Wisconsin
Flash. Young Mark Hodson of Maranka,
Ill., drove a daughter of Freight Train
to the top spot, and a daughter of Mr.
Timber exhibited by Peugh Durocs of
Stanton, Texas, was named Reserve.
Before the sales began, the barns were
jam-packed with potential buyers. Soga-
No-Yo Swine Farms of Japan, purchased
the Champion and Reserve Champion
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Hampshire Boars for $25,000 and $7,500,
respectively, along with the Champion
and Reserve Champion Duroc Boars for
$38,000 and $25,000. Hamp-An’s Cham-
pion Hampshire Gilt brought $6,000 and
so did Hodson’s Champion Duroc Gilt.
Wednesday’s events included the York-
shire show. Dick Kuecker, Algona, Iowa,
drove his son of White Cloud to Champion-
ship honors, and Michigan State University
had the Reserve Boar with a son of Peter.
Bill Funderburg of Greenville, Ohio, drove
his daughter of Total to Champion honors
and Don Michael & Sons of Farmersville,
Ohio, had their daughter of Freight Train
named Reserve. Soga-No-Yo Farms proved
again to be a force to be dealt with during
the sale. ey purchased the Champion
and Reserve Yorkshire Boars for $30,000
and $22,000 along with the Reserve Gilt
for $4,000. e Japanese rms at the NBS®
purchased $349,250 of breeding ani-
mals. Soga-No-Yo Farms alone purchased
$203,400 of the top purebred genetics.
Later that afternoon, the Grand
Champion Production Barrow was named.
Earlier in the spring of 1973, 544 individual
barrows were put on tests by breeders who
wanted to exhibit animals at the NBS®. No
stranger to the winner’s circle, Roy Keppy of
Davenport, Iowa, drove his crossbred entry
to the On-Foot Championship, and then
rang the bell again as his barrow was named
the Grand Champion Production Tested
Carcass Barrow. e truckload division
found Dave Cox of Wyoming, Ill., grab-
bing the banner with his crossbred load.
A Duroc truckload exhibited by LaVern
Weller & Sons, Dwight, Ill., was tapped the
Champion of the truckload carcass contest.
ose few days four decades ago
are considered by many to be the pin-
nacle of the NBS®. But to understand
the success of those September days,
you must know what came before.
e National Barrow Show® was rst
held in Austin, Minn., in the fall of 1946.
is event marked the rst time that the
10 major breeds of hogs had appeared
together at a national swine show. e
$21,645 prize money was the largest purse
ever awarded. In addition, the 1946 show
had more hogs on exhibit than any other
show in history. e National Association of
Swine Records and the George A. Hormel
& Company (represented by Carroll Plager)
agreed to stage the NBS® at the Mower
County Fairgrounds during the rst full
week of September following Labor Day.
is event has been held in Austin every
year – with the exception of 1952, when
it was cancelled because of an outbreak of
vesicular exanthema, and 2001 with the
concern of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
at same year, the Crane Pavilion was
constructed for $42,000. is facility was
built in honor of R.P. Crane, a member of
the Hormel Institute of Directors and vice-
chairman of e Hormel Foundation. Un-
fortunately, in 1955, a re destroyed the pa-
vilion, but it was rebuilt the following year.
roughout the years that Austin,
Minn., has been home to the National
Barrow Show®, there have been great suc-
cesses and hard times. It’s been forty years
since that record-shattering September, but
the spirit and camaraderie the NBS® has
been built around still remains. As long as
good hogs and good people continue to
meet in Austin, the ‘World Series of Swine
Shows’ will remain one of the best events to
share ideas for the future of our industry.
September 2013
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